Our three person God. Today is the Solemnity for the Holy Trinity in the Christian Liturgy. And I realize that this concept of our Three Person God foils me.
Close to nineteen years ago, the man who would become my husband explained his experience of the journey to God. It begins, he said, with Our Lady, Mary, the Mother of God. Mary shows us the way to her son and then she recedes back into the background; her preferred place in the shadow of her Son. Only much later does the Person of God the Father reveal Himself. John was clear when he explained the three persons of God, the distinct natures each possessed; later when I began to study Catholicism I learned much more from the Monks at the Benedictine Abbey where I became a Christian Catholic on an early September Saturday evening.
A few months after I joined the Church, during my first silent retreat, the Legionnaire priest ended his welcome address with his prayer for each of us. “I pray,” he said, “that by the end of this weekend, you will know Jesus Christ as your best friend.”
Those words struck terror in my heart and soul. Over the years when I have shared my terror of Him to another person of faith, almost always their reaction has been one of surprise. Why would you fear Christ?
What’s not to fear? The pain anguish and suffering that He embraces? Being asked to leave everyone and everything that I loved to do something that terrified me? Like go to a fourth world country to work with the poor? A claim I made back in the days when it was safe, there would be no chance of doing anything like that; they were easy words to say. Until I met John who told me he would go with me, go to Haiti or go to Karachi if I got the Hospital Director job there.
Over time, I learned my own truth of John’s experience of the journey to God. Our Lady in those beginning years was a tangible presence to me and then over the years, she faded and yes, I did quite miraculously develop a friendship with Jesus. Learning enough about Him to know that He would never lead me to a place of terror; that the joys I experience are joys that have been placed in my heart, by Him and God the Father.
During the years I did not consider myself Christian, I encountered the Holy Spirit, always as a blinding light, so bright that I could not keep my eyes on the brilliance. Always at times of profound crisis. Only in retrospect have I realized what the light was, or been grateful for the Grace and Mercy of the God who sent me the Spirit of Consolation.
I have realized on this Solemnity of the Holy Trinity that when I pray, I pray to Jesus, He whom I was once terrified of in ignorance of the Reality: He is They. They are He.
Can I expect to wrap my brain around this mystery in the remaining years on this earth? Unlikely. But perhaps this new and shallow understanding of mine can take root in my prayer. Once again, I look to Paul who explains with a simplicity that which defies explanation.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.